By Fergus Murray on 30/12/10 at 11:01 pm
It was a year of milestones for triathlon in 2010: the sport had the honour of being the first medal awarded at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. ITU hosted the first-ever Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Lausanne, home of the Olympic Movement. The buzz behind Team Triathlon continued to grow with the exciting new format being showcased at a number of major events. Here’s a look at some of the major milestones from the past season of racing.
Paratriathlon accepted into Paralympic Games
After an enthusiastic campaign, the dream was finally realized. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) welcomed Paratriathlon onto its programme starting in Rio 2016. On paper it seemed like a few months of hard work but in reality, this was the result of years of tireless work and commitment. Paratriathlon’s acceptance into the Paralympic Games is validation of ITU’s dedication to the sport, which spans more than 15 years. The IPC made the decision at its Governing Board meeting in Guangzhou, China, just ahead of the 10th Asian Para Games.
Triathlon at the Youth Olympic Games
The first-ever Youth Games in Singapore blew away everyone’s expectations and triathlon had the privilege of being the first medal awarded. Japan’s Yuka Sato was the winner of the first gold medal of the Games, winning the women’s triathlon with a blistering final 5K run. New Zealand’s Aaron Barclay became the men’s champion the following day, finishing the sprint-distance race in 54:41. The Team Relay was the final triathlon event on display in Singapore, with IOC President Jacques Rogge attending the unique 4 x mixed relay event. The European squad of Alois Knabl (AUT), Eszter Dudas (HUN) Miguel Valente Fernandes (POR) and Fanny Beisaron (ISR) took the win after a thrilling sprint finish.
First Sprint World Champs in Lausanne
ITU returned to beautiful Lausanne, Switzerland in August for the first Sprint Triathlon World Championships. It was the speedsters time to shine, with athletes covering 750 metres of swimming, 20K of biking and 5K of running. In the women’s race, no one could match the raw speed of Sweden’s Lisa Norden, who ran away with the victory in 58:02. It was all about Britain in the men’s contest with 20-year-old Jonathan Brownlee topping veteran Tim Don for win.
Moffatt Makes it Back-to-Back
Women’s world champ Emma Moffatt entered prestigious territory this year with her second consecutive world title. She joins countrywomen Emma Snowsill and Michellie Jones as the only women to repeat as champion. Moffatt’s title was the 13th for Australian women, an impressive feat considering there has been a total of 22 World Championships.
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Gomez Earns Title Number Two
Spaniard Javier Gomez also joined a rather elite group this year, becoming only the fourth man to win the world title more than once. Peter Robinson (AUS) and Spencer Smith (GBR) have won twice, while Simon Lessing (GBR) has four titles to his credit. In 2010, Gomez was the only man to win two Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series races, taking back-to-back titles in Hamburg and London.
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Segment Rankings Debut
This was also the first year of ITU’s new segment rankings, which rewarded a total of $60,000 to the top athletes in each discipline throughout the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. At season’s end, Dmitry Polyansky (RUS) and Laura Bennett (USA) were named the top swimmers, Lisa Mensink (NED) and Bruno Pais (POR) earned the title of best bikers and Paula Findlay (CAN) and Jan Frodneo (GER) earned the honour of the best runners of 2010.